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If there’s anything that’s front and center when it comes to Nintendo’s iconic mascot Mario, it’s the Brooklyn native’s similarly iconic mustache. Which raises a pretty curious question―what would he look like after a clean shave? What monstrous visage would the world’s most famous plumber possess if he were stripped of that reassuring fuzz on his upper lip?
The internet provided the answer this weekend, and boy is it something. It’s not just his mustache, either, but the hair on top of his head, too. All shaved off, leaving everyone’s favorite Koopa-stomper’s skin as smooth as a newborn baby’s. Be forewarned, the resulting image is not for the faint of heart.
Shaved Mario pic.twitter.com/JyfAHLC5oZ— n17 (@november17) May 13, 2018
Beauty, needless to say, is in the eye of the beholder, so who knows how exactly each individual person will react to this … striking image. It’s not impossible that some people might even prefer this clean-shaven, freshly razored version of the Mushroom Kingdom’s valiant hero.
On the other hand, one might find the above image to be an absolute, unmitigated nightmare, a sight that not only carries the potential to destroy years worth of warm childhood memories but to curse all future interactions with Mario, too. Even once the world has been restored to balance and Mario gets his bushy brown hair back, can the memory of his eggshell-smooth face ever truly be overcome?
It’s a pretty jarring piece of work, so it’s no surprise that it went viral, with plenty of people seeming shocked, startled, and more than a little disturbed by Mario’s newest look.
GOOD LUCK UNSEEING THE IMAGE OF SHAVED MARIO pic.twitter.com/D9nqVFu9ax— Shaddow Morrison (@VirbankCity2099) May 12, 2018
I am going to have a nightmare tonight about shaved Mario and hatless toad— kushty (@2turntkaity) May 13, 2018
Shaved Mario is the worst thing I have ever seen but how about we throw a stache on Toad— Tanandler Bong (@Tanner1495) May 13, 2018
It’s 3am and a picture of Mario shaved really got me dying in my room rn 😂😂— Gio (@Gigi_Boo23) May 13, 2018
unfollowing almost 2000 people means that im no longer distressed and disoriented by the TL but it also means that i saw shaved mario 5 times today before finally muting it— high strung si kyung (@keshyart) May 13, 2018
In short, shaved Mario is perhaps the most disruptive and distressing Mario-themed meme since the rise of the dreaded hatless Toad. Thankfully, there’s no indication that Nintendo has ever actually considered going with a hairless Mario, so gamers everywhere should be able to rest easy―after all, just imagine trying to keep your attention on thumping Bowser with that face staring back at you.
Chris Tognotti is a frequent contributor for the Daily Dot. He’s a news and current events writer based out of Berkeley, California, and a co-host of the podcast Now We Know. While he specializes in domestic politics and opinion writing, he’s also savvy on sports, video games, and film.